Staff from Afghan Development Agencies Offered Visas by Switzerland

As the Taliban sweeps the country, Switzerland announced Friday that it will repatriate three foreign ministry personnel and give humanitarian visas to Afghan development agency workers and their families.

There is no Swiss embassy in Afghanistan, and diplomatic ties are handled by the Pakistani mission.

But the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the foreign ministry’s international development arm, is in Kabul, though.

Three Swiss SDC employees will be repatriated, according to Swiss ministers, while the other three are already outside the country owing to the deteriorating security situation.

Around 40 local SDC employees and their families were offered humanitarian visas to move to Switzerland, bringing the total number of persons to around 200.

Swiss junior foreign minister Livia Leu said that the Swiss Govt. is very concerned about the development of the situation in Afghanistan.

She urged all sides to “respect international humanitarian law and human rights law” and called for “urgent negotiation on a political settlement.”

Returns to Afghanistan have been halted by the State Secretariat for Migration until further notice.

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